One of the things no one tells you when you write a book is that there is SO MUCH research involved. Even writing a memoir about a two-year period in my own life warrants research. That’s probably the part I hate the most. I am good at doing research, especially if I have to do the research for other people, but when it comes to myself, well the research is hard, and frustrating, and leaves me asking myself “Why am I doing this?”
Christin on the other hand, well she thrives on it. She can find your long-lost cousin twice removed that you were not even aware you had. She is good, and she truly enjoys it. I cannot tell you how many times our collective research has paid off.
Monday morning was one of those mornings where there was just too much to do and not enough time. Trying to cram in the Real Housewives of New York Season 7 Reunion, while trying to stalk Sebastian Bach on Twitter, and folding a few loads of three-day old laundry all before Joe comes home is not as easy I make it sound. Multitasking at it’s finest!
As soon as I heard the familiar “ding” from my phone, alerting me that I had a message, I just knew I had my work cut out for me. My Housewives got put on hold, just when Bethenny was going in hard on Sonja, Sebastian Bach had to take a backseat, and the laundry….oh yeah, I still need to tend to that. I saw a message from Christin. “Hmm, that’s weird. A little early for her to be up.” I opened the message and saw in big bold print “CHECK THIS OUT.” Immediately I knew whatever it was that I had to “check out” had to do with the book. Slowly, I scrolled down to the link that was included in her message. I was both curious and anxious. What on earth did she find at this ungodly hour of the morning?
I clicked on the link, and found myself in complete and utter shock.
I woke up Monday morning with the thoughts of the book chapter I was editing for the 10th time from the night before. Without giving it all away, it was an intense chapter for both Jen and I.
Scenes were flashing through my head as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. My normal routine of making breakfast, feeding the cat and checking on my sleeping teenage kids would have to wait. I was on a mission to find our past.
I didn’t want to let her in on the search, just in case I didn’t turn up anything. I will be the first one to tell you, digging up the bones from our past isn’t easy. Almost 15 years have gone by, for all we know these fools could be dead, which really wouldn’t be a shocker. As I flipped open the laptop, I typed in the names. 30 minutes later, I had mug shots, pictures, and was piecing together what appeared to be remnants from a very rocky and somewhat criminal past.
I pondered what to do with this newfound information. Should I call Jen? Maybe she was still asleep. I will just send her the link and let her decide what to do with this.
There, in the link that was embedded in Christin’s message to me, was a mug shot staring back at me. I threw my phone down much the same way one would do if they picked up a hot plate, or a grenade. Was I really looking at pictures from my past? I slowly grabbed my phone and took a second look. There was no doubt it was Him, and fifty plus extra pounds. The eyes. If you look closely enough you can see the evil. The “attitude” came shining through the mug shot. I already knew He would have about twenty reasons why it was not his fault he got arrested……again. And, when I say “again” I mean all sixty-five times.
Yes, you read that correctly. In the span of 15 years, this idiot has been arrested SIXTY FIVE times! Christin had found it all. Every single mug shot was there, watching me. Every single inmate number. I had no idea how she did it, yet here it all was.
Aside from the obvious question of “What were you thinking Jen?” to the more obvious answer of “I wasn’t.” I had some thoughts to reflect on.
I am a nice person. Catch me on the right day I can be a charming person.
Why did He never see that about me?
For the longest time I blamed myself. If someone who claims to care about me ends up hitting me, then what does that say about me?
It says nothing about me (aside from my very bad choices in men) and everything about him.
Also, I think we can all agree I dodged a bullet with that one. A fast paced bullet that giving the opportunity, would aim right for my heart….and it would not miss.
It’s true, I found 65 mugshots of Jen’s ex. As I scrolled through the charges, which ranged from charges of disorderly conduct to more serious charges of possession of a dangerous drug with intent to sell. These charges came out of several different states with some indication that he was using aliases along the way.
It was now time, to do some research on my own ex, that would be starring in the same chapter as Jen’s ex. I thought I would dig up some mugshots of him. He’d always lived on edge, so without a doubts, there had to be something.
My research could not turn up any inmate numbers or stints in the pen but pictures revealed that he was still Living La Vida Loca at 45 years old. That’s right folks, he’s spent his 20’s, 30’s and 40’s living like a Rockstar and boy does it show. The Fred Durst look-alike that I used to know now looks more like Fred Flinstone on a bender. Let the records show that I dodged a bullet on this one, more ways than you all will ever know.
“What the hell were we thinking?!”
“Well he looks nice…”
“I call this…My walk of shame”
“I cannot even use drugs as an excuse for this one.”
“Fred Flintstone on a bender.”
“Party on! 45 year old man…”
“Still keepin’ it classy…”
And there you have it. Look, Christin and I know we made way too many mistakes to count. Never once do we want to make excuses for ourselves. That’s the thing though when you revisit your past. You have two options. You can blame everyone else, or you can own your very bad descisions, take a shot, and move on.
We chose the latter.
~ Vodka Calling.